VIETNAM ( SERIES -32 )
EMPEROR TRAN ANH TONG OF DAI VIET
TRAN ANH TONG or TRAN THUYEN was the fourth Emperor of the TRAN DYNASTY of DAI VIET . He had reigned over the country for 21 years from 1293 AD to 1314 AD . He was born on 17th September , 1276 AD as TRAN THUYEN . He was the first son of Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG and Empress KHAM TU BAO THANH . Emperor TRAN ANH TONG had one Empress , two other wives and several concubines . Besides three short-lived sons , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG was survived by only one son TRAN MANH who later on became his successor and as an Emperor he was known as TRAN MINH TONG . He also had five daughters namely : 1. PRINCESS THIEN CHAN ; 2. PRINCESS Y TRINH ; 3. PRINCESS HUY CHAN ; 4. PRINCESS HUE CHAN ; 5. PRINCESS THANH CHAN . He was invested with crown prince in 1292 AD by Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG . He ultimately was enthroned in 1293 AD , while his father Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG reigned as a Retired Emperor for 16 years . Although being an intelligent ruler and a devoted son , the young Emperor TRAN ANH TONG often drunk alcohol and in the drunken state he left the citadel to wander around the capital city of THANG LONG at night . One day what happened that when he was so drunk that he even forgot to welcome the Retired Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG who was coming back from THIEN TRUONG for a visit . When the Retired Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG was made aware of the situation , he departed immediately in a fury from THANG LONG . And Emperor TRAN ANH TONG , in an excuse, had to write a petition for the Retired Emperor TRAN NHAN TONG with the help of a young scholar called DOAN NHU HAI . After that Emperor TRAN ANH TONG appointed DOAN as court counselor and avoided drinking .
AN EMPEROR SUPRESSING GAMBLING AND CORRUPTION
TRAN ANH TONG was the first Emperor of DIA VIET who brutally suppressed gambling and corruption and he generously rewarded those who served him well . Under his able leadership , DAI VIET witnessed a long period of peace and prosperity . He was an able Emperor and capable court administrator . Despite the death of the most important Generals of DAI VIET , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG was the first TRAN Emperor who ruled without having to face attacks from the MONGOL Empire . Able General like TRAN QUANG KHAI died in 1294 AD and General TRAN QUOC TUAN died in 1300 AD . But the Emperor still served by many efficient mandarins like TRAN NHAT DUAT , DOAN NHU HAI , PHAM NGU LAO , TRUONG HAN SIEU , MAC DINH CHI and NGUYEN TRUNG NGAN. After 21 years of his rule , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG passed the throne to the crown prince TRAN MANH (LATER BECAME EMPEROR TRAN MINH TONG) . However , TRAN ANH TONG had retained the tile of a Retired Emperor for six years before his death in 1320 AD at the age of 54 . He only had one era name called HUNG LONG . According to the historians of DAI VIET (VIETNAM) , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG was praised for his righteous reign as his reign created a peaceful and prosperous period of history in DAI VIET . He was a mild and modest ruler who was quick to mend his mistakes . He was cautious and intelligent in his judgment . To a royal historian like NGO SI LIEN , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG was a father with sense of responsibility for his son which could better be seen in the governance of DAI VIET by his son TRAN MINH TONG later . However , he was criticized on the ground that he allowed building a tower and gathering monks in YEN TU mountain .
FOREIGN POLICY DURING EMPEROR TRAN ANH TONG
Detente with the YUAN DYNASTY continued during the reign of Emperor TRAN ANH TONG . Two other neighbors of DAI VIET i.e CHAMPA and LAOS were duly dealt with . The Emperor’s envoy to the YUAN DYNASTY was so successful that the leader MAC DINH CHI was dubbed as the ‘ two- state exemplar ‘ because he came first in as TRANG NGUYEN in the Imperial examination of DAI VIET . And he was praised in the YUAN DYNASTY court also for eloquence . On the other hand , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG appointed PHAM NGU LAO to oversee the pacification of the frontier regions like LAOS and CHAMPA . At the same time the Emperor also accepted King of CHAMPA’S proposal of the appointment of two CHAM prefectures O and LY in exchange for the marriage with VIETNAMESE Princess HUYEN TRAN . When O and LY came to DAI VIET , the Emperor changed their names as THUAN prefecture and HOA prefecture respectively . But only one year after this marriage , King CHE MAN of CHAMPA died . Since SATI System was prevailing in CHAMPA that time , Queen HUYEN TRAN was to be cremated with her husband . Realizing the gravity of the situation , Emperor TRAN ANH TONG sent his able mandarin TRAN KHAC CHUNG to CHAMPA to save the life of HUYEN TRAN from an imminent death . TRAN KHAC CHUNG tactfully took HUYEN TRAN back to DAI VIET . But CHE CHI , the successor of King CHE MAN , was now no longer wanted to abide by the peace treaty with DAI VIET . So, Emperor TRAN ANH TONG along with Generals like TRAN QUOC CHAN and TRAN KHANH DU commanded three groups of DAI VIET military units to attack CHAMPA in 1312 AD . Ultimately , King CHE MAN was defeated and captured . Emperor TRAN ANH TONG installed a hand- picked successor like CHE DA-A-BA-NIEM who was the brother of dethroned king CHE CH . However , the relation between the two countries remained strained for a long time .
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